The Directorate-General for Maritime Policy (DGPM) hosted the EEA Grants Blue Growth Programme Midterm Event at Leixões Cruise Terminal, in Matosinhos, which took place on 17th of October.
The opening session was conducted by the Norwegian Ambassador in Portugal, Hanne Brusletto and the Director-General for Maritime Policy, Marisa Lameiras da Silva. who highlighted the impact of the Blue Growth Programme on creating value and sustainable growth in Portugal's Blue Economy, as well as the extraordinary contribution to education and training in marine and maritime domains.
The Blue Growth Programme and the results achieved were presented by the Financial Mechanism Office of the EEA Grants, the National Focal Point for the EEA Grants in Portugal, and the Blue Growth Programme Operator (DGPM), represented by Margrethe Assersson, Maria Mineiro, and Sandra Silva, respectively.
The event consisted of two sessions:
Session 1 - "How can EEA Grants Research projects contribute to the Mission 'Restore Our Oceans by 2030'" aimed to highlight the alignment of the Blue Growth Programme of the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area 2014-2021 (EEA Grants) with the objectives of the "Restore Our Oceans by 2030" Mission.
This session was moderated by Rune Vistad from the Research Council of Norway and featured the participation of Evangelia Tzika from the European Commission, DG Mare, who presented the challenges and opportunities of the "Restore Our Oceans by 2030" Mission. Ana Sutcliffe, representative of the National Innovation Agency (ANI), presented the "Ocean&Waters Mission in Portugal," and Aleksandra Haugstad from the Research Council of Norway presented the "Ocean&Waters Mission in Norway."
Session 2 - "Turning Starfish Mission into Business Opportunities", moderated by Magnar Ødelien,from Innovation Norway, featured the participation of Maria João Corte-Real from CCDR Norte, Rui Azevedo from Forum Oceano and Isabel Caldeira Cardoso from aicep Global Parques.
Participants enriched the session with their insights and identified business opportunities resulting from the pursuit of the "Restore Our Oceans by 2030" Mission, emphasizing the importance of internationalization for businesses in this context.
The Midterm event also involved the Promoters and Partners of the Projects, who presented over two dozen Projects during the Pitch sessions.
The closing session was conducted by the Deputy Director-General for Maritime Policy, Sandra Cruz.
The Blue Growth Programme is one of the five Programmes approved under the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area 2014-2021 (EEA Grants). Its objective is to enhance value creation and sustainable growth in the Portuguese blue economy. Additionally, it aims to increase research and promote education and training in marine and maritime areas.
The Blue Growth Programme operates in three distinct but complementary areas: Business and Innovation, Research and Education, and Ocean Literacy.
This event marked a significant milestone for the Blue Growth Programme, both in terms of presenting Project results and reinforcing its commitment to the sustainable development of the blue economy and ocean protection.
The DGPM expresses gratitude for the presence and engagement of all stakeholders, that contributed so much to the success of this event!